Regions of the Atlantic area are characterised by an intense economic and social relationship with marine resources. Most of them are linked with important fishery and aquaculture industries.
For these regions, seafood traceability and labelling are essential, as their products may be under threat from low-cost, third country imports. Imports which could potentially be of doubtful origin and/or which may have been handled or produced under inadequate controls.
The main objective of LABELFISH is to set up a network of entities interested in developing a common traceability strategy, using standardised and innovative analytical techniques of genetic traceability and labelling of seafood products in the European Atlantic areas. Under this general objective are specific objectives:
- Analysis of fish traceability and fish labelling in markets of the Atlantic Region. This objective involves the analysis of the implementation of traceability schemes in the seafood industry (fishing fleets, fishing industry and auctions), studies of the state of seafood labelling at auctions and markets, the perception of consumers of seafood traceability and labelling, and the analysis of the effectiveness of the control of labelling by competent authorities. The seafood labelling studies will focus on the most commercially important species in Atlantic area, specifically in the countries involved in the project. Some of these species are cod, tuna, anchovies, ling, sole, monkfish, haddock and hake.
- Standardisation of fish authenticity and genetic traceability methodologies. This objective aims to compare the current techniques used for fish species authentication and control of traceability, and to build a genetic database that will allow harmonisation and standardisation of methodologies at the European level.
- Atlantic network for species authenticity and labelling. We aim to establish a network of laboratories, entities, companies with expertise and capacities in fish traceability, seafood labelling and fish authenticity. This network will interact by holding workshops for exchanging of methodologies, personnel and results. The final objective is to create a framework for the creation of a European network for fish authenticity and control of traceability.
Protection of European consumers and SMEs will be achieved by ensuring consumers’ rights to correct product information and by implementing reliable genetic traceability and authentication tools for the protection of market niches.